We left Munich today.
It was kind of bittersweet to leave. When we first arrived two weeks ago, I was still cranky about leaving my perfect bubble in Granichen. I also knew that we owed it to ourselves to continue exploring Europe while we’re here and Germany had always been at the top of our list, but I was so in love with life in Granichen that I felt like I was being dragged away from it. After we both got sick in Munich, I couldn’t wait to get out. If it wasn’t for the incredibly generous and wonderful family we were staying with, we probably would have left within a week.
And… maybe the dog kept us there a little longer. She really was one of the sweetest and best trained dogs I have ever met.
On the first night that we arrived in Munich, I (half) jokingly asked Mike why he pulled me out of heaven. I arrived in Munich with the wrong attitude and a bit of a closed mind. The food wasn’t as fresh, the scenery wasn’t as stunning, and even my runs felt more boring and difficult to get through. We were staying in a very safe and quiet neighbourhood that is perfect for growing up and feeling comfortable walking around alone, but it is similar enough to what I am used to in Toronto that I grew bored of seeing the same type of neighbourhood everywhere we turned.
On the second day we were there, Mike got sick – really sick. It took him almost a full week to recover so that kept us preoccupied and also meant that we rarely went into the city. As soon as he began to feel better, I came down with similar symptoms and we had to go through the whole recovery process all over again. Between the two of us, we were sick for about a week and a half of the two weeks that we stayed in Munich.
By Thursday, both of us had pretty big cabin fever and spent as much time as we could in the city with the few days we had left in Munich. At first, I was so traumatized, tired, put off of food that I didn’t think Munich could redeem itself. I really just wanted to move onto a new city and have a new experience.
But, then there were soft, bready pretzels. Lots of them – everywhere. And really good beer. And sourdough bread. We walked all over the city and found little cafes and hidden restaurant gems that made me feel like I had gone about my judgements over Munich all wrong. I could definitely see myself living in this city (minus the whole language barrier thing which I’ve already decided is worth taking intensive languages classes to overcome).
By the time we packed our bags last night, I felt really sorry that we were leaving. Munich grew on me as a city and I feel like we only scratched the surface of experiencing what life could be like here.
After exploring different running paths, we finally came across some of the most gorgeous (and least technical!) trails that I’ve ever run on. The forested areas are stunning, and I hear it only gets better in the Spring/Summer when everything is in full bloom. I could have explored it for weeks and not tired of it.
Every brewery we went to had baskets of fresh pretzels baked daily for you to eat. This was a very good thing. Since we couldn’t really eat much food while we were sick, we survived off a lot of pretzels, saltine crackers, and bananas for days (a week for Mike)… and then we made up for lost time.
We tried a few traditional German dishes, and while they were definitely flavourful and hearty, they were also way too heavy for me. I do love the sauerkraut, though. We also came across some of the best coffee we’ve had since Stockholm.
The only thing that I could not get used to was the abundance of smoking that carried on everywhere. Since the weather was starting to warm up, you couldn’t walk down a sidewalk without constantly breathing in a cloud of smoke from every single patio. At times, all the smoke left me nauseated and it made me appreciate the fact that Toronto has implemented a lot of anti-smoking laws that keep that sort of stuff away. I always thought smokers and non-smokers could co-exist, but when I feel like I can’t get away from it no matter where I turn, that’s a pretty big deal breaker for me in terms of city livability.
Despite feeling sad to leave Munich, I’m really looking forward to checking out Berlin! Both Mike and I have never been before, so it’ll be really fun to discover the city together.